Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 08, 1861The Policy to Be Followed by the Patriots of East Tennessee (Editorial)
Elsewhere in this issue of the newspaper the reader will find information concerning the resolutions of the great Union Convention which the brave patriots of East Tennessee recently held at Greenville. This Convention, composed of staunch patriots from no fewer than thirty counties, was in session for three days. The proceedings were marked by harmony and the spirit of sacrifice. The declaration, made by the Convention and published in this newspaper, is characterized by great simplicity as well as an eloquent enumeration of the many crimes which the Secessionists and their ring leaders have committed against loyal citizens of the slave states. And what a contrast between this catalogue of heinous deeds and the description of the many benefits which the people of Tennessee also received at the hands of the 2Union, and which the loyal Tennesseans gratefully acknowledge!
But do the resolutions contained in the declaration offer the correct solution of the problem confronting those citizens of the slave states who remained true to the Republic? As indicated by the resolutions, the people of East Tennessee want to sever their part of the state from the rest of Tennessee and establish themselves as a separate state. As we know, the patriots of West Virginia were the originators of the idea; at first they, too, intended to effect a complete separation from their state and to found another state. This plan would be effective if a complete and permanent separation between the North and the South were brought about, and a Southern confederation were permanently established; in that case it would be laudable only if those portions of the southern states which are favorably disposed toward the Union should leave the Rebels and join the Union. However, since there can be no doubt that the Federal Government will prevent a permanent separation between the North and the South, and will disperse the Southern Confederation, the matter assumes an entirely different aspect. The question is whether or not it would be more practical, 3if, under these circumstances, the loyal parts of the slave states remained with their respective states? We answer in the affirmative; for we believe that the whole of the slave states can be cleansed, purified, and emancipated by these loyal, true citizens, as soon as the disloyal parties in those states have been subdued by the strong arm of the Federal Government. Indeed, we are convinced that their co-operation will be indispensible in the cleansing process. Then, too, West Virginia and East Tennessee are to be looked upon as wedges which free labor has driven into the heart of slavery; for example, not even one tenth of the inhabitants of East Tennessee are slaves, while in the secession counties of West Tennessee, in the neighborhood of Memphis, the slaves are just as numerous as the whites. So if there are any serious intentions of abolishing slavery in the whole state of Tennessee, East Tennessee, which favors and furthers the cause of free labor, must not under any circumstances, be separated from West Tennessee, which is "slavocratic". Similar conditions prevail in most of the border states, especially in Virginia. It was for just this reason that the patriots of West Virginia abandoned their plan of establishing a separate state as soon as they saw that the United States' 4Government would not permit a disruption of the Union. They are now endeavoring to elect an administration which is loyal to the Republic in order to eliminate the influence of the disloyal elements within its borders. Let us hope that the forceful message of the President will induce the patriots of East Tennessee to take similar measures.
In this connection we would like to call attention to the example of Switzerland. No canton was more loyal to the Swiss Republic than was Luzerne. And yet at one time Luzerne was a haven and stronghold of separatists. However, the canton was cleansed and purified by its loyal patriots who defeated the separatists at Gislikon and Meyers Kappel....
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